I’m not a big fan of writing year-in-review stuff. Back in my newspaper days, for example, I hated with blind passion our annual run of “Top National Stories”, “Top World Stories”, Top Sports Stories” or whatever for the year. Junk like that is an absolute waste of soy-based ink. The dark secret to their appearance, in case you never figured it out, is that it’s easy to put together “Top Story” pages many days in advance. And the more pages you can put together in advance, the fewer people you have to pay to work the holdiay.
Is this the time of year when a wargame blogger ought to write “My favorite games of the year”? I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as it doesn’t make the claim “best game of the year”, then no tall tales are being told. “Best game of the year”, on its face, is a ridiculous claim – unless, of course, some writer somewhere has actually had the time and resources to play every game published in the past 12 months.
Just for the record, when I blog about wargames I am not pretending in anyway that this is “wargame review” blog. I may from time to time post pieces that function as game reviews, but I am not attempting to present a broad view of the hobby. I don’t blog about every game I buy. Real-world time constraints have a way of intruding into Blog Universe, so I usually only blog about games I enjoy. Even then, not every game that I’ve played and enjoyed over the last 12 months has gotten a blog mention.
For the record, in the past year I’ve written about a scant handful of wargames: Combat Commander: Pacific, Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear, Blood and Bridges, SWWAS Leyte Gulf, Fields of Fire, D-Day at Omaha Beach, Where There is Discord and The Caucasus Campaign. As my wife will grumpily attest, those are neither the only games I’ve bought this year, nor the only games I’ve played.
Some games I’ve bought, played and found rather uninteresting – or, at the least, not very blog-worthy. Some games I probably meant to blog about, but those blog plans got tossed into the paving machine for the road to hell along with numerous other good intentions.
As a quick note, I usually don’t buy games that out-and-out suck. I keep pre-orders from various publishers limited, and I try to direct my limited hobby budget into games that sound both interesting and competently produced. I am also not a “completist” with regards to the series-based games I enjoy. If a series game doesn’t sound particularly interesting on its own merits, I’m not going to waste money on it simply to have the “latest edition” of something in my closet.
Other games I’ve bought I simply haven’t had time to get onto the Big Table – usually due to their size, complexity, playing time or all of the above. In the coming year, for example, I’d like to able to devote some time to OCS: Baltic Gap – which taunts me viciously every time I open my game closet door. Ditto SWWAS: Arctic Convoys. It’s been in the closet even longer – but it’s tough to find space and time for a 3-map game these days.
As we prepare to plunge into a new year, I’d also like to point out that I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. So it’s safe to say that the publishing industry is economically safe from anything along the lines of “Next year, I resolve to play more games than I buy.”
Play more games than I buy? Ha-ha. Ha-ha-ha. Hahahahahahahahaha. Not a snowball’s chance of THAT, my friends.
Happy New Year.